A passion for keeping their Southland community safe and a strategic career move after professional rugby for one of them, has led to two new police sergeants being stationed in Gore.
Sgt Nick Stanton and former Southland Stags rugby player Sgt Hua Tamariki are rapt to be taking the next step in their careers.
After being made sergeants last month, the pair have relocated from the Invercargill police station to Gore.
They are looking forward to being immersed in the Eastern Southland community.
“Gore’s blessed with the staff they do have at the station, including the stations surrounding the area – I’m looking forward to working with them,” Sgt Stanton said.
“I’m looking forward to making sure we are involved in the community, making a difference in the safety, being visible – the biggest thing for us is being visible and approachable,” Sgt Tamariki said.
Both new sergeants have been involved in the police force for about seven years.
Sgt Tamariki joined the police after his rugby career began to wind down.
“I wanted a career for after rugby, I was at a bit of a crossroads and turned to my father in-law and he directed me towards the police force,” he said.
He enrolled in the force in 2010, completed his training in Invercargill and was one of 11 new constables stationed there.
Sgt Stanton, who has played almost 100 games for the Edendale Rugby Club, wanted to join fresh out of high school.
However, realising he needed some “life experience”, he completed a Bachelor of Education at Otago University. He then enrolled in the police force and completed his training in Wellington.
He has been stationed in Invercargill since, and had a few short-term stints on Stewart Island as well.
Before coming to Gore, both sergeants were members of the Invercargill Armed Offenders Squad.
Sgt Stanton said he was looking forward to working in a small community and praised the work of Gore’s community patrol, which did an “outstanding job”.